Statements flow in from Silicon Valley criticising transgender ruling

24 Feb 2017

People protesting North Carolina’s HB2 law that restricts transgender rights. Image: J. Bicking/Shutterstock

The tech community has united once again in opposition of a decision by US president Donald Trump to roll back protections put in place for transgender students in American schools.

The schism between Silicon Valley and the current US administration has never been wider, as decisions taken by President Trump continue to differ drastically from those put forward by his predecessor.

Following Trump’s executive order temporarily banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Silicon Valley vocally put forward its support for those affected, saying that many of its employees are immigrants.

‘Everyone deserves a chance to thrive’

A similar response has been issued following the US government’s decision to roll back on rules brought in by Barack Obama that allowed transgender students in schools to use the bathroom that corresponds with their identity.

Explaining why it was receding the ruling, the administration said it was created “without due regard for the primary role of the states and local school districts in establishing educational policy”.

Apple was one of the first major tech companies to speak out, telling Axios: “Apple believes everyone deserves a chance to thrive in an environment free from stigma and discrimination.

“We support efforts toward greater acceptance, not less, and we strongly believe that transgender students should be treated as equals. We disagree with any effort to limit or rescind their rights and protections.”

A ‘troubling’ decision

Google added a similar sentiment, saying: “We’ve long advocated for policies that provide equal rights and treatment for all. We’re deeply concerned to see a rollback in transgender students’ rights.”

Yahoo described its fears over the decision and where the current administration is going, with regard to diversity in the US.

“Yahoo has, and always will, recognise the inalienable right to equality for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression,” the company said in a statement.

“The action taken by the administration is troubling and goes against all that we believe in.”

Many famous faces in Silicon Valley did not make formal statements, but took to Twitter to offer their dismay over the decision, and reinforce their support for LGBTQ individuals.

People protesting North Carolina’s HB2 law that affects transgender freedoms in the state. Image: J. Bicking/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic